Saturday, August 21, 2010

It was a good start on our Sweden visit dream....

The Swedish folks are partying right now. Late summer meals of crayfish with lemon and dill are being enjoyed with family and friends in what I hear is balmy weather. The tradition is centuries old, and has songs and customs that go along with the feast.
Our Swedish friend Janitha in Houston has flown back to Sweden to visit with her family and I've been told that her mom Pia got an early start on Crayfish partying sans funny hats and singing.
Janitha and we have had CRAWDADS in Houston a few times; where the red "mud bugs" are served hot, both in temperature and in seasoning.
Janitha told us about how the Swedes served CRAYFISH with lemon and dill. I had been dying to try the Swedish version ever since.

IKEA to the rescue!!!!

All you can eat Crayfish for $9.99?

We're there!!!

The price included the funny hat and an adorable bib.
(Don't you love how the crayfish pinching the moon's nose?)

IKEA staff were on hand to show newbies how to shell the red treat, but we were already old hands after all our Texas Crawdad feasts.

Take another look at the lovely red treat...

But more than crayfish were featured at this party: there was also all-you-can-eat Swedish meatballs and lingonberries, mash potatoes, THREE kinds of pickled herring (I love pickled herring!) and Swedish cheese, and crackers with a thick cheesy spread, and two kinds of desserts: one was an apple cake and the other a dark chocolate covered almond type cake. Plus lingonberry soda to drink as well.

A feast indeed it was!

Two musicians filled the air with Swedish melody.
We were seated right in front of them; I was bold enough to ask if the music they were playing was really known in Sweden.
I was assured that this was a well known favorite....I'll leave it to Pia or Janitha to verify this!

When IKEA said "All you can eat" they meant it! People were piling up crayfish on trays and then going back for more.

(It looks like a ton of food on those trays, but actually only the meat in the tail is consumed, a piece the size of a large almond.)

We were told that the store planned on selling 150 tickets. In the end....280 people had joined in on the party! The staff graciously made more everything (or rather, defrosted....) so no one was turned away.

All the IKEA stores across America had Crayfish Parties this past Friday evening.
(They do this every year; be on the look-out for invitation announcements in August.)
A good time really was had by all, and IKEA also invited everyone to attend a Christmas Smorgasbord on Dec. 10th
That date is now reserved on our calendar.
Now...what I really want and also plan to do:
Go to Sweden and have this same meal only this time enjoy eating it with real Swedes.
It will happen.
Bernie and I have promised each other.
And Pia says she would be happy to have us come.
(I'm hoping to see pictures of her parties on FB soon!)

8 comments:

Vee said...

That looks like great fun! We have no IKEAS in my corner so I really had no idea that they host such events in addition to selling furniture, etc. I live with a Swede every day, but I don't think that he'd prefer the crayfish over lobster or even a good can of herring. I'll have to ask him. :D

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ellen b. said...

You guys are the Bomb! Well done for hunting this event down and then going and showing us all the fun! Love the hats and bibs. Dear is 1/2 Swedish. His Swedish relatives live in the Denver and in Kansas. After we were married we never managed to get to one of the Christmas Eve Lutefisk events!

Sara said...

Love the hat and bib! You can keep the crayfish though, I'd give you all of mine! Ikea really knows how to throw a party....I must visit them one of these days. The Swedish meatballs look really delish!

Dolores said...

I must check it out to see if the IKEA in Canada does this - especially the Christmas one. We were just there a couple of weeks ago but didn't see any advertising. Looks like a great feast - I don't think Finns are into crayfish. At least I never saw any of my parents' friends consume any while I was growing up and we certainly didn't. I do love pickled herring though.

Vicki said...

Wow! We missed the fun by just this much! Darn! Well, actually, I've never been brave enough to try crayfish and Doc has a...um, history...with them, so it's 'no-go' for him. However, that Christmas smorgasboard sounds interesting...

You two look sooo cute!

Lovella ♥ said...

I was thinking as I read this. ..well that figures. .the americans even get parties at their ikea's. . I don't think we do. .but then I've never checked. I sure will though. I don't think we've ever eaten crayfish. I'll have to look into that treat.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, it looks so FAMILIAR and funny! My comments (strictly my own ones!): We never eat the herrings and meatbolls or cheese from the same plate, but that's the IKEA style, and we even "suck" the legs and paws while taking snaps and singing the funny songs which I can't remember afterwards! Everybody seems to have their own favorite songs and rhimes.The playing ladies seemed to be cought far from here with their melodies, but they certainly sounded Swedish. Mind you, this is a very Swedish tradition, not mine. I've got it from my husband's family as they were Swedish and Finland's Swedish.The average Finnish family did not eat crayfish very often in the old days! Nowadays it's very common even in F:land, but they don't use so much requisite. They just eat and drink ;-DD I might be joking ---or maybe not!!!Hope you had lots of fun!!! It looked like such fun!!! We'll do our best,too!Lovely to have Janitha here with us, says her mother Pia from Stockholm, Sweden.